Back inside Bridgeside
Updated: Jan 11
After securing the necessary permissions and undergoing rigorous Health and Safety training at Bridgeside Lodge, The Spitz were finally able to re-enter the building, as essential workers. With some trepidation we went up to our old office on the 2nd floor, kitted in visors, masks and gloves; unsure of what to expect from our first, experimental, indoor music session during the pandemic. An atmosphere of anxiety, tension and exhaustion had been building at BSL over the past few weeks: winter is upon us, Covid cases are rising, and care homes are still being forgotten. Then lockdown was announced.
For the mental health and stability of all at BSL, it is vital that our activities continue. Without our visits, stimulation for the residents is minimal and their deterioration (both physical and mental), more immanent. With this in mind we were eager for our Wednesday session to be a success. We roamed the corridors (changing PPE per floor) and chatted to the residents. Many of them recognised us and were thrilled to be being visited! One resident, Olive, said: “I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering when we might see you again!” Another resident, Gillian, burst into laughter when we entered her room and immediately showed us her writing practice (the improvements she’s made are staggering.) She sang along with my cover of Moon River, pitch perfect.
It was my first time playing music inside the care home and I was surprised by how much more engaged the residents were compared to in the gardens. There was so much more eye contact, understanding, and connection. Perhaps it was being in the comfort of their own warm rooms with less to distract them. A few residents were moved to tears and one lady, originally from Dublin, attempted to get out of her wheelchair to dance with me as I played her an Irish folk tune. It was incredibly moving to see how much our short visit benefitted them. We now know that, although the next month will be experimental, it will definitely be worth every effort.